Current Affairs – August, 2018

Latest Current Affairs August, 2018 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of August, 2018 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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BNHS to open its first regional centre near Chilika Lake

The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), one of India’s premier avian research institutes, will start operating its first regional centre or avifauna observatory on the campus of Wetland Research and Training Centre near Chilika Lake (Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon), Odisha.

Key Facts

The avifauna observatory will carry out research on avian disease by collecting samples and monitor Nalabana Bird Sanctuary. It will be engaged in identifying air route of foreign birds flocking Chilika lake during winter, sample collection, training related to bird census, publishing bird migration atlas books, examining various diseases among the birds and review condition of Nalabana bird sanctuary along with counting birds.

Bombay Natural History Society (BHNS)

BNHS is one of the largest non-governmental organisations in India engaged in conservation and biodiversity research. It was founded on 15 September 1883 and headquartered at Hornbill House, Mumbai. It supports many research efforts through grants and publishes Journal of Bombay Natural History Society. Department of Science and Technology has designated as ‘Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’.

Chilika Lake

It is largest coastal lagoon or brackish water lake in India and Asia and second largest lagoon in the world (after The New Caledonian barrier reef in New Caledonia). It is located at mouth of Daya River, flowing into Bay of Bengal. It is spread over Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha on east coast of India, covering an area of over 1,100 km sq. It hosts nearly one million birds with 97 species being intercontinental migratory in nature during the winter season. It is largest wintering ground for migratory waterfowl found anywhere on Indian sub-continent. It is one of hotspot of biodiversity in country and some rare, vulnerable and endangered species listed in IUCN Red List of threatened animals. It was first waterbody in Indian to be designated as wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1981. It was put under Montreux Record (record for such sites where there has been or likely to be adverse ecological change due to manmade activities), but was later removed from it due to conservation efforts.

Madhya Pradesh Government seeks revival of Cheetah Reintroduction Project

Madhya Pradesh forest department has written to National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to revive its Cheetah Reintroduction Project to reintroduce Cheetahs in Nauradehi sanctuary located in Sagar district of state. The ambitious project was conceived in 2009 but had hit roadblock for want of funds.

Key Facts

Cheetah, fastest land animal was declared extinct in India in 1952. India’s last spotted Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) had died in Chhattisgarh in 1947. This species was hunted into extinction by British colonial officers and Indian royalty. According to earlier action plan, around 20 cheetahs were to be translocated to Nauradehi from Namibia in Africa. Namibia Cheetah Conservation Fund had then showed its willingness to donate felines to India However, State was not ready to finance plan contending that it was the Centre’s project.

Background

In 2011, NTCA, a statutory body under Union Environment Ministry had committed Rs.50 crore to State for this project. Dehradun based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) also had prepared Rs. 260 crore Cheetah Re-introduction Project in 2012. It was estimated that Rs. 25 crore to Rs. 30 crore will be needed to build enclosure with huge boundary walls in area of 150 sq km for introduction and protection of Cheetahs in Nauradehi before releasing them in wild. Nauradehi sanctuary was found to be most suitable area for reintroduction of Cheetahs as its forests are not very dense to restrict fast movement of Cheetahs and also has abundant prey base.

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